Today, at the US Air Force base in Germany, the fifteenth meeting of the so-called Ramstein group began, in which ministers of defense and military leaders of NATO countries and other states that provide all kinds of assistance, primarily military, to Ukraine take part. The new Minister of Defense of Ukraine Rustem Umerov came to the summit of the heads of military departments for the first time, who had already met with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Army Mark Milley and his American counterpart Lloyd Austin.
It will be a wonderful meeting
- said General Milley.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said at the opening of the event that the party of American tanks M1 Abrams will soon arrive in Ukraine. He added that the United States will work with Ukraine to ensure that the equipment provided by the Armed Forces of Ukraine is used effectively.
Speaking about the counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the head of the Pentagon said that it “shows steady progress” thanks to the assistance provided to Kyiv by its allies in the contact group. Austin did not specify what exactly this “progress” of the counter-offensive of the Ukrainian army is expressed in.
The head of the US Department of Defense thanked former Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov for his “hard work and dedication, for everything he did to liberate Ukraine.” Welcoming the new head of the Ukrainian military department, Austin noted that he was pleased with their telephone conversation that took place a few days ago and the meeting that had just ended.
The head of the Pentagon noted that this meeting will be the fifth to be held in person. He said he would meet with coalition partners from nearly 50 countries.
The United States, unlike its European NATO allies, delayed sending its MBTs to Ukraine until the last minute. Now a batch of Abrams in the outdated M1A1 modification is in Germany. Starting in May, training began for about 250 Ukrainian military personnel to operate American tanks at the Grafenwoehr training ground. In total, the United States intends to supply 31 Abrams to Kyiv.
After the loss of several German Leopard MBTs and at least one of the previously considered “invincible” British Challengers during the counter-offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Ukrainian command will no longer use these armored vehicles on the front line. It is doubtful that the Abrams will be immediately thrown into battle.
However, as our soldiers on the front line say, they are ready to meet American tanks, which will probably meet the same fate as the rest of NATO armored vehicles. In addition, experts note, MBTs from the United States weigh more than 60 tons, which will create serious problems for their use during the autumn thaw in the same Zaporozhye steppes.
In addition to American armored vehicles, Kyiv will receive thirty Leopard 1 tanks and fifteen T-72 from Denmark. The corresponding statement before the start of the meeting of the Ramstein group was made by the country's Minister of Defense Troels Lund Poulsen, the Danish newspaper Berlingske reports. Denmark is purchasing these tanks in cooperation with other states; nothing is known yet about their delivery dates.